5 Ways to Improve Your Candidate Pool

If your candidate pool consists of hiring new employees largely from those who walk in your front door or answer an online advertisement, you are possibly missing your best candidates. The right people for the job are usually working for someone else. In fact, they may not even be looking for a new position.

The smartest employers know this and recruit a pre-qualified candidate pool of potential employees before they need to fill a job. The key is to build your own candidate pool and develop relationships with these potential candidates long before you need them.

improve your candidate pool

1. Want to improve your candidate pool? Start with a strong job description!

Pull together a team of people who represent the best qualities of the people who are currently in the same or similar position including the hiring manager. With this team, develop a job description that defines the key responsibilities and outputs of the position. Next, identify the behavioral characteristics of your ideal candidate. Finally, narrow your list down to the five to 10 “must-have” responsibilities and characteristics you will use to screen resumes and to establish questions for phone and live interviews with your candidates. If a candidate does not possess those traits, there is no need to continue the process.

In many cases, by telling potential employees the exact position requirements, candidates will self-select themselves into or out of the recruitment process. And while it may seem like a lot of effort, these steps will provide you with a much better understanding of your ideal job candidate.

2. Develop relationships with recruiters

While “body shops” should not be the first place you look to acquire talent, the best executive search firms have done much of the homework and candidate pool development for you. Executive recruiters have an already-developed pool of candidates. Therefore, they can typically provide experienced eyes to help you with your search. While a candidate may have been a poor fit for another company, they could be a perfect fit for yours.

Be sure that when using a recruiter, executive search firm or employment placement firm that you specifically identify the knowledge, skills, abilities, and expectations of a potential employee. Additionally, describe your firm’s culture in such a way that the recruiter can align a potential employee’s values with the values of your company.

3. Involve your staff in the hiring process to improve your candidate pool

It’s almost always a good idea to involve your current staff in the hiring process. Your employees can recommend excellent candidates to your firm, assist in reviewing resumes and qualifications of potential candidates, and help you interview people to assess their potential “fit” within your company.

As a first step, be sure to publicize your interest in employee referrals. Then pay for employees to participate in industry groups, conferences and trade shows where they are likely to meet potential candidates. You might even consider rewarding employee referrals, especially for hard-to-fill positions with cash bonuses.

Posting all open positions, announcing openings at company meetings and sharing growth plans with company members will help spread the message. Be open about position availability, or eventual availability, to each employee so they can regularly look for superior candidates in their networks of friends and associates.

4. Promote open positions on the Web

You should obviously promote any job openings on your company’s website, but be careful in how you are advertising open positions on the internet. You want to be sure that your online recruitment ads “sell” the vision and the advantages of your organization. Effective ads portray your firm as an exciting and rewarding place to work. They also make people want to apply for the job. The wrong ad or wrong wording can attract the wrong candidates.

5. Use Free Applicant Tracking Software

If you’re doing each of the above items, you may find that you are spending countless hours creating reports, checking received applications, and tracking where they’re coming from. These daily tasks and functions aren’t necessarily the highest and best use of your time and could be keeping you from doing more important things. Using Recruiteze’s free online applicant tracking system can help you become more effective, productive, and streamlined, without having to worry about the day-to-day hassle of keeping track of a never-ending spreadsheet.

Choosing the right recruiting software for your business is easy with help from Recruiteze! Want to use it for free? You can access our recruiting software for free with a basic membership. Recruiteze is our free online applicant tracking system that allows candidates to apply to be added to your database immediately. You can then access candidate resumes online and make changes quickly. Recruiting based on your needs has never been easier with their custom job board. This feature allows candidates and employers easy access to information and creates a level of professionalism expected in today’s marketplace.

We offer free 15 day trials of any of our other memberships and paid packages start at only $10 per month with unlimited support, users, and more. Contact us for more information.